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More Summer Safety Tips

If kept outside, make sure your pet has plenty of shade.  Remember that dog houses are NOT good shelter during the summer, as they can trap heat!

Make sure your pet has access to plenty of cool, fresh water 24 hours a day.  If your pet travels with you, bring along water and a bowl!

NEVER leave your pet in a vehicle on a warm day.  Even with the windows open, the temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes!

It's fun to take your dog with you to run errands, but if you can't bring your dog inside the store, it's best to leave it home.  Tying a dog outside a store is dangerous because he is exposed to the hot sun and strangers who could be unkind.

Avoid strenuous exercise for your dog on extremely hot days.  Take walks in the early mornings or evenings when the sun's heat is less intense.

Make sure your pet's vaccinations are up-to-date.  Summer outings with pets usually mean more contact with other animals.  

Keep pets off lawns that have been chemically treated or fertilized for at least 24 hours (or according to package instructions), and keep them away from potentially toxic plants and flowers.  Even the most "common" house and yard plants are many times extremely poisonous. 

Insects are more prevalent in warmer months and carry many diseases which can be transmitted between animals and humans.  Just a few of these serious diseases are Heartworm Disease and encephalitis (carried by Mosquitoes), Bubonic Plague (carried by Fleas), Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Rickettsiosis (carried by Ticks).

Ask your veterinarian for an effective preventive to keep these parasites off your pets.

Many dogs like swimming, but some cannot swim or are unable to safely bring themselves out of the water.  Be conscious of your dog's preferences and skills before putting it in the water.  Always supervise your dog while swimming.  Always teach your dog how and where to get out of a swimming pool via steps that it can reach and safely climb upon while keeping its head out of the water.

Chlorine from pools and bacteria from streams, lakes, rivers, and ponds can be toxic for a dog's system.  Always rinse your dog with clean water after swimming or walking through any of those water areas.  Diseases and bacteria such as Distemper, Leptospirosis and Giardia can be prevalent in and/or near standing or other bodies of water.  Ideally, your pet should not drink from these waters.  Beware of the wildlife that may pose a danger to your swimming pet.  Some catfish are known for attacking small dogs.

Many airlines will not ship animals during summer months due to dangers caused by hot weather.  Some will only allow dogs to fly in the early morning or in the evening.  Check with your airlines for specific rules.  Shipping policies can also be found at http://www.akc.org/pdfs/canine_legislation/airline_chart_0605.pdf.

If traveling by car, keep your pet cool by putting ice packs such as frozen water bottles in its crate.  Do NOT use freezer ice packs which contain poisonous materials.  Make sure the crate is well ventilated.  For more information on travel tips, visit http://www.akc.org/public_education/travel.cfm.

Birds, Rabbits and Reptiles can easily succumb to the heat.  Provide these pets with plenty of shade, cool & fresh drinking water and separate "bathing" water.  Water dishes for bathing should be deep and wide enough for your pet to climb into, but shallow enough to be able to easily climb out of to avoid drowning.  Remember that standing or stagnant water not only draws mosquitos, but can also rapidly develop life-threatening bacteria.  


Freeze plastic soda or water bottles filled with water to use in rabbit cages.  Change as needed, keeping a continuous supply of frozen bottles in the cage during the daytime.  


Fans for your rabbits and birds are very helpful.  Make sure they cannot reach the fans or cords, as injury or death may occur.

Resources > Hot Weather Safety Tips > More Summer Safety Tips